For more than a year now, we have been living in constant change, facing situations that we thought were impossible or absurd. A year that has made us all stronger, more expectant and adaptable to changes.
In this context, I would like to focus this article on a skill that has become, now, more important than ever in business these days, which is resilience.
To delve deeper into this concept and understand the impact it has had on the healthcare industry, I will begin by analyzing its definition.
According to the Royal Spanish Academy, Resilience is defined as:
- Adaptive capacity of a living being in the face of a disturbing agent or an adverse state or situation.
- Capacity of a material, mechanism or system to recover its initial state when the perturbation to which it had been subjected has ceased.
In both definitions (referring to living beings and material) there are two important concepts to highlight which are adaptation and recovery.
I’ve mentioned both since these terms imply changes that are not reversible, which is directly related to a learning process that allows us to take advantage of an adverse situation, and identify new opportunities that will be the basis for recovery, change or transformation.
It is a term used in physics referring to the capacity of materials to «bounce back» or recover their shape (e.g. elastic rubber), which in 1972 Michael Rutter began to use in the social field referring to people who had lived through a challenging situation and had been able to move forward.
According to Rutter: «resilience is understood as the individual variation in the way people respond to risks over time«.
The capacity for resilience is present to varying degrees in all people and allows awareness of limitations, learning capacity and capacity for reinventing.
There is an important point to have in mind, as well, that resilience is something we realize we have just after having endured a difficult situation, moment or realization. A person’s level of resilience will determine who succeeds and who fails1.
This implies a first phase of acceptance of a change (involving the management of frustration), followed by a process of adaptation and transformation, as mentioned above.
Diane Coutu mentions three characteristics that resilient people have in common: a staunch acceptance of reality; a deep belief that life is meaningful and an uncanny ability to improvise1.
How does Resilience affect the process of digital transformation in the Healthcare industry?
In a period of acceleration of the digital transformation process, resilience capacity becomes fundamental, especially in commercial departments.
COVID-19 has been a catalyst in the digitalization in the Healthcare industry, which has had a clear positive impact on the different business models. It has forced us to increase the level of personalization, be more strategic in the multichannel approach and, above all, increase effectiveness, therefore, efficiency.
We’ve learnt that effectiveness is closely related to better understanding the new business models. Moreover, designing the customer journey by positioning the patient in the centre is the unique way to achieve the level of personalization expected
Digital transformation and the shift from volume to value-based care, demonstrates the importance of looking for new business models, which offer not only a concrete medical solution but a whole ecosystem with services that brings a unique experience to the user.
What can we do to optimize our resilience?
The ability to learn and adapt are fundamental to being able to facilitate the time and type of response to a situation of big changes such as the one we are experiencing.
Analysis is a key element in this learning process that helps us to be prepared to make decisions and adapt our responses.
Consequently, the OODA model is highly recommended, whose steps are:
- OBSERVATION: continuous observation of the environment
- ORIENTATION: analyzing the information and considering the different options.
- DECISION: deciding which option is the best and developing an action plan.
- ACTION: putting the plan into action.
The speed of action and good judgment in decision making are a major factor in the capacity for resilience. This is a very powerful learning tool.
This is why we must accelerate our process of adapting to change and training becomes a key element that helps to accelerate the improvement of our Resilience capacity. It works as a basis for our creativity to support and define new opportunities and starts the process of changing and improving.